Women’s Political Participation

 

Women and Gender Equality in Afghanistan: Key Findings from the 2018 Afghan Survey

Washington, DC, Thursday, December 6, 2018

Events

3:00 pm – 4:30 pm Choate Room, First Floor 1779 Massachusetts Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20036 The 2018 Survey of the Afghan People provides critical insights on the status of women in Afghanistan and highlights gender gaps on a wide range of issues. The results of The Asia Foundation’s 14th annual public opinion survey are based on face-to-face int… Read more

 

Myanmar: Women Breaking and Making the Rules

October 10, 2018

Blog

I was on the grounds of a textile factory an hour outside Mandalay, Myanmar. It was July 2017—peak monsoon season—and the combination of rain, heat, and an overnight bus ride from Yangon had left me soaked. I was sitting on a small rattan bench in the living room of Zarchi Win, surrounded by all the women in her family, who were all talking at once… Read more

 

Advancing Gender Equality in Asia

September 12, 2018

Blog

Earlier this year, the G7 launched the Gender Equality Advisory Council to promote the integration of gender equality and gender-based analysis across all G7 activities and outcomes. As part of Canada’s presidency of the G7 during 2018, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “Gender equality must play a key role in creating lasting solutions to the ch… Read more

 

Reflections on the Gender 360 Summit

Washington, DC, August 1, 2018

Program Snapshot

More than 300 gender and youth practitioners convened last month in Washington, DC, for the Gender 360 Summit to explore the theme of positive girl and boy development. Panels examined how gender issues intersect with health, education, economic empowerment, and gender-based violence among girls, boys, and youth of diverse gender identities. Over t… Read more

 

No Women, No Growth

July 18, 2018

Blog

The 2018 Chatham House International Policy Forum convened last week at a time of international angst. Two British cabinet ministers had resigned over Brexit negotiations, creating more uncertainty around the tenure of Prime Minister May. President Trump’s contentious meeting with NATO officials sparked questions about the U.S. commitment to that i… Read more

 

More Female Prosecutors for Afghanistan

July 18, 2018

Blog

Female participation in the legal sector has increased dramatically in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001, but fundamental legal and gender reforms have yet to truly take root in the country. Afghan society’s strict segregation of the sexes, and a shortage of female legal professionals, makes it difficult for women to seek red… Read more

 

Dawn: Election Mela aims to reduce rejected votes, increase turnout on polling day

July 18, 2018

Media Coverage

Dawn newspaper in Pakistan highlights The Asia Foundation’s participation in an Election Mela, an event designed to raise awareness about voting and political participation. The Asia Foundation, in collaboration with PODA (Potohar Organization for Development & Advocacy) and the Election Commission of Pakistan, held an “Election Mela” (Election… Read more

Nepal Local elections 

Nepal Elections: More Women Have a Seat at the Table, But Will They Have a Voice?

December 13, 2017

Blog

2017 is a milestone year for Nepal: millions of Nepalis voted in provincial and federal elections which ended last week, and earlier this year, the country held its first local elections in two decades, electing a total of 35,041 local representatives across 753 local levels. The elections were also a high point for women elected leaders, thanks to… Read more

 

A Conversation with Nobel Laureate, Lotus Leadership Honoree Amartya Sen

October 4, 2017

Blog

On October 12, The Asia Foundation’s Lotus Circle will honor Indian Nobel Prize-winning economist and philosopher, Amartya Sen, at the Lotus Circle Leadership Awards Gala in New York for his groundbreaking contributions to advancing the central role of women’s experience and choice in his pioneering work on inequality. He has said when looking at d… Read more

 

Women Funded 2017: Tools for Turbulent Times

San Francisco, September 6-8, 2017

Events

The Park Central Hotel 50 Third Street, San Francisco, CA The Asia Foundation is proud to be a co-sponsor of the three-day Women’s Funding Network conference. Join 300 women’s fund and foundation leaders, corporate foundations investing in economic security, senior executives of diversity and inclusion initiatives, and issue experts from around the… Read more

International Women's Day Pakistan 

Women and Leadership in Pakistan: A Conversation with Sofia Shakil

August 23, 2017

Blog

Concerns over access to justice and women’s rights are high in Pakistan. The appalling revenge rape in mid-July of a 17-year-old girl, ordered by a tribal council, has again ignited outrage over the country’s justice system and the sustained level of violence against women. In this interview, The Asia Foundation’s country representative in Pakistan… Read more

Myanmar elections 

Toward a Regional Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security in Asia

July 12, 2017

Blog

On a recent trip to Myanmar, I met with a former parliamentarian from Yangon to discuss women’s political participation in the country. When she served from 2010 to 2015, women members of Parliament constituted 5.9 percent of all elected MPs in the Union Parliament, the lowest in Asia.  The 2015 general elections have changed that si… Read more

 

Gender Equality in Bangladesh’s Growing Economy

March 8, 2017

Blog

Last month, iDE Bangladesh brought together international and Bangladeshi experts, practitioners, and policymakers for a workshop to discuss new ideas and approaches to market development in Bangladesh. After decades of strong growth, Bangladesh’s ambition to become a middle-income country by 2021 seems to be within reach, and many experts claim th… Read more

A woman sits in a crowd of graduates at Kandahar University. 

The Evolving Role of Women in a Politically Uncertain Afghanistan

December 7, 2016

Blog

On June 14, 2014, 2.4 million Afghan women voted in the country’s presidential run-off election—38 percent of total turnout—making it the highest level of women’s electoral participation in Afghanistan’s history. This year, the first women’s university opened in Kabul, Khost province opened its first women’s park, and more women graduated from the… Read more

Women's Business Center in Mongolia 

New Business Center Supports Women Entrepreneurs in Mongolia

September 21, 2016

Blog

At first glance, Mongolia appears to be a shining star globally in the realm of women’s empowerment, and in many ways, it is. For example, according to the UN’s Gender Development Index (GDI), women in Mongolia have a longer life expectancy than men (70.2 compared to 63.1), and outnumber men in school attendance across all ages. Women can be seen i… Read more

Womens Political Participation handout 

Advancing Women’s Political Participation

August 9, 2016

Publication

Women’s participation in political life and public decision-making is fundamental to equitable societies, effective governance, and improved human development outcomes. When women are able to contribute to decisions that affect their lives – as active citizens, educated voters, and effective leaders – entire communities benefit. The Asia Foundation… Read more

 

Carnegie Corporation’s Vartan Gregorian: Transforming Afghan Women’s Lives through Education

May 4, 2016

Blog

On May 11, The Asia Foundation will host its sixth annual Lotus Leadership Awards Gala in New York City, honoring First Lady of Afghanistan, Rula Ghani, and Carnegie Corporation of New York and its president, Vartan Gregorian, for their efforts to improve the quality of life for women and girls in Afghanistan. The evening gala is a platform fo… Read more

Two women look at a cell phone, India. Photo: Conor Ashleigh 

Lotus Circle: A Gender Smart Investment for Women and Girls

April 13, 2016

Blog

While women and girls are increasingly able to realize their rights and contribute to society, they continue to face enormous challenges and disadvantages across Asia. Today data shows that no country can get ahead if it leaves women and girls behind. In the words of former World Bank President Robert Zoellick: “Gender equality is smart economics.”… Read more

 

Empowering Women by Shaping a Brave – and Safe – New World Online

March 23, 2016

Blog

The 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) kicked off last week, and the streets of New York City near Turtle Bay have been packed with government officials, NGO and multilateral representatives, activists, and academics.

 

Where Are India’s Working Women?

March 9, 2016

Blog

India is one of the youngest countries in the world, with a significant segment of its 1.2 billion population in the age group of 20-35. By 2020, it is estimated that the average age in the country will be 29. For an economy that is growing at an annual rate of 7 percent…

 

Tweetchat Rallies Around Gender Equality for International Women’s Day

March 9, 2016

Blog

March 8 marked International Women’s Day, and to commemorate this year, The Asia Foundation’s Women’s Empowerment team hosted a tweetchat relay using the hashtag #IWDchat16, titled Advancing Gender Equality in 2016 and Beyond.

 

Myanmar Elections Usher in Unprecedented Number of Women Parliamentarians

March 2, 2016

Blog

Women in Myanmar were granted constitutional rights to equal political participation and the right to vote in 1932, quite early in comparison with other countries in Asia. Japan did not do so until 1945, China in 1949, and India in 1950. Yet the reality of women’s political participation in Myanmar…

 

Advancing Women’s Rights in Afghanistan: A Conversation with Lael Mohib

February 24, 2016

Blog

On Tuesday, February 23, Lael Mohib, founder of the Enabled Children Initiative, spouse of Afghanistan’s ambassador to the United States, and former chief of staff at the American University of Afghanistan, appeared in conversation with Clare Lockhart…

 

The Rise of Smart Phones in Cambodia Challenges Social Norms

December 16, 2015

Blog

According to a new study, nearly 100 percent of Cambodians now own a mobile phone. In what is perhaps an even more significant trend, as a subset of mobile phones, smart phone ownership grew by 41 percent in the past year.

 

Indonesia’s Local Elections: High Drama and Humdrum

December 9, 2015

Blog

Just under 100 million Indonesians were eligible to vote in Wednesday’s local elections for nine governors, 224 district heads, and 36 mayors as well as their deputies. Overall, this represents elections for about half of the country’s districts and municipalities and a quarter of the provinces.

 

Survey Reveals Mixed Results for Women’s Gains in Afghanistan

November 18, 2015

Blog

Earlier this month, Dr. Sakena Yacoobi was awarded the prestigious WISE prize for her work to improve Afghan girls’ access to quality education. Since the 1990s, Dr. Yacoobi has worked tirelessly to advance equal access to education through underground home schools for girls…

 

Int’l Day of the Girl Child: Celebrating the Power of Girls in Vietnam and Across Asia

October 7, 2015

Blog

On October 11, global communities will mark the International Day of the Girl Child to celebrate girls’ rights and to recognize the achievements and shortcomings since the launch of the Millennium Development Goals…

 

2015 Lotus Leadership Awards

June 4, 2015

Slideshow

On June 3, The Asia Foundation’s Lotus Circle honored journalist and author Sheryl WuDunn, and Dr. Ranjana Kumari, a leader in the women’s rights movement in India, at the fifth annual Lotus Leadership Awards in New York City, for their contributions to the well-being of women and girls in Asia. Ms. WuDunn, the first Asian-American reporter to win… Read more

 

Inspired by Father’s Wartime Experience, Meredith Ludlow and Marc Teillon Give Generously to Educate Young Women in Vietnam

June 3, 2015

Blog

A decade ago, Meredith Ludlow and her husband, Marc Teillon, journeyed to the coastal region of Núi Thành District, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam, to the village of Chu Lai. Ludlow, a Lotus Circle advisor and member of The Asia Foundation’s President’s Leadership Council, was visiting the place where her father…

 

Melanne Verveer: “No Country Can Get Ahead That Leaves Half its People Behind.”

May 27, 2015

Blog

We sat down this week with Asia Foundation Trustee Melanne Verveer, director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security, and the first U.S. ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues from 2009 to 2013. We asked her how far women had come in Asia, and how far they had yet to go.

 

Women’s Labor Rights: The Road Ahead

April 29, 2015

Blog

May 1 is International Workers Day. Its origins lie in a peaceful demonstration in 1886 in Chicago’s Haymarket Square that turned violent as frustrated workers petitioned for an eight-hour workday. Since then, workers’ rights around the world have seen significant legal gains, including the right to collective bargaining…

 

Drivers and Trends in a Changing Asia

April 22, 2015

Blog

Will Malaysia continue its trajectory of economic growth, or will it get caught in the so-called middle-income trap? Will Myanmar successfully shake off the legacy of decades of military rule and violent conflict and transform itself into a peaceful and thriving market democracy?

 

The Stubborn Persistence of Gender Inequality

April 1, 2015

Blog

Despite the swelling mantra of women’s empowerment, and the proliferation of gender-sensitive approaches in aid program descriptions, the snail-like advancement of women in developing countries continues to indict our best efforts. Microfinance programs, reserved seats for women in parliament, and a raft of…

 

World Leaders Issue Political Declaration on Gender Equality by 2030: Asia Foundation Experts Weigh In

March 25, 2015

Blog

At the opening of the 59th Commission on the Status of Women at UN Headquarters on March 9, world leaders issued a political declaration calling for gender equality by 2030. In Asia editor Alma Freeman spoke with Barbara Rodriguez, The Asia Foundation’s assistant director for women’s empowerment programs, and Kate Bollinger…

 

Post-2015 Development Agenda Needs Standalone Goal on Gender Equality

March 4, 2015

Blog

It has been more than a century since the world first celebrated March 8 as International Women’s Day. This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women when representatives from 189 governments signed the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action…

 

Timor-Leste’s Law on Domestic Violence Just the Beginning

March 4, 2015

Blog

On February 16, Dr. Rui Maria de Araújo delivered his first speech as new prime minister of Timor-Leste, driving home a commitment to peace, reconciliation, economic development, and poverty reduction. He also emphasized the need to build a more inclusive society…

 

Uber Rape Case Reignites Debate over Women’s Security in India

December 17, 2014

Blog

On Friday evening, December 5, a young woman, just finishing work in Gurgaon, India (a satellite city which is part of the larger National Capital Region), goes to meet her friends at a pub in South Delhi, and decides to call an Uber home. This chain of events is typical of what many young professionals…

 

G20 Leaders Pledge Inclusive Growth for Women: More Promises or Real Possibility?

December 3, 2014

Blog

Under the blazing heat of Brisbane on Sunday, November 16, leaders of the 20 countries with the highest GDPs in the world released a joint communiqué focusing on economic concerns, highlighting plans to increase global economic growth, create jobs, increase trade…

 

Does the Ghani Administration Mean a Greater Role for Women in the Afghan Economy?

November 19, 2014

Blog

At his inauguration on September 29, President Ashraf Ghani thanked his wife, Rula, for her support during the campaign, and to the surprise of many in Afghanistan, promised Afghans that she would continue her work advocating on behalf of the nation’s 750,000 internally displaced people. Having previously served as the country’s finance minister in 2002-2004…

 

A Conversation with Mongolian Free Press Advocate Naranjargal Khashkhuu

August 13, 2014

Blog

As The Asia Foundation recently marked its 20th anniversary in Mongolia, Country Representative Meloney Lindberg sat down with Naranjargal Khashkhuu, president and CEO of the Globe International Center…

 

Online Work: The Game-Changer for Asia’s Entrepreneurs

July 9, 2014

Blog

An exciting tech trend is reshaping Asian workforces. In countries like Bangladesh where the economy is expanding alongside faster broadband speeds and mobile penetration, entrepreneurs and skilled workers looking for employment are turning to online work…

 

Betting on Women in the Fight Against Poverty

June 18, 2014

Blog

Today about six out of 10 of the world’s poorest people are women. That means, of the estimated 1.5 billion people living in extreme poverty worldwide, 60-70 percent are girls and women. However, if girls and women account for a large percentage of the poor…

 

Giving Indonesia’s Women Head of Households A Fighting Chance

June 18, 2014

Blog

The Indonesian Bureau of Statistics estimates that out of 65 million households, approximately 9 million – or nearly 14 percent – are headed by women. Studies from field reviews of World Bank-financed national community development projects have shown that vulnerable widows were not joining collective decision-making…

 

Subnational Governance in Myanmar Discussion Paper Series Released

June 18, 2014

Blog

In Yangon, The Asia Foundation just released two reports in its Subnational Governance in Myanmar Discussion Paper Series. The first, jointly developed by the Myanmar Development Resource Institute-Center for Economic and Social Development, looks at women’s participation; and the second examines state and regional governments’ roles in natural res… Read more

 

Najla Ayubi on Elections and Women in Afghanistan

June 11, 2014

Blog

If Afghanistan is synonymous with a rugged terrain and warring tribes, the “graveyard of empires,” then it should also be synonymous with courage and defiance. Afghan women collectively deserve not only the Nobel Prize for peace, but also a prize for courage and valor, especially crafted for them.

 

ICT Innovations Connect Bangladesh’s Women Entrepreneurs

May 14, 2014

Blog

By 2020, Bangladesh will have a population of 170 million – and half of this population will be made up of women. If the country is to achieve the 8 percent GDP growth it hopes for, making sure that women entrepreneurs are able to reach their full potential and fully contribute…

 

Advancing Women Business Leadership in Mongolia

May 14, 2014

Blog

While Mongolia has made important strides in achieving gender equality, it still has a long way to go when it comes to parity between women and men in business. Currently, it ranks 33rd out of 136 countries according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index (2013)…

 

Mongolia Strengthens Efforts to Prevent and Combat Trafficking in Persons

March 12, 2014

Blog

Mongolia is no stranger to the scourge of human trafficking that takes place within Asia and beyond. As a source, transit, and destination for victims of human trafficking, Mongolia remains a Tier 2 country on the U.S. Department of State’s…

 

Asia Foundation’s 18 Country Reps Convene in D.C. to Discuss Asia’s Critical Issues

March 12, 2014

Blog

This year, The Asia Foundation is commemorating its 60th anniversary. Drawing on the expertise of local partners and our own development experts in the 18 countries where we work, we’re initiating a year-long, global conversation on six critical issues facing Asia.

 

The Women Leaders Who Drive Aquino’s Reform Agenda

March 5, 2014

Blog

For a president who was so greatly influenced by his mother and surrounded by sisters, it’s perhaps not that surprising that Simeon Benigno Aquino III has appointed women to some of the highest positions of his administration. A confirmed bachelor…

 

Inclusive Growth in Asia is Impossible Without Including Women

March 5, 2014

Blog

A report from Oxfam released in late January put down on paper what many already feared was true: almost almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population. This is also the case in Asia, where income and wealth disparity is growing rapidly.

 

A Conversation with Nepali Journalist, Women’s Rights Advocate Jaya Luintel

March 5, 2014

Blog

Ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8, In Asia editor Alma Freeman interviewed Nepali radio journalist and women’s rights advocate, Jaya Luintel, on women’s changing role in politics and society in Nepal, the country’s wide gender gap, and hopes of democratic momentum.

 

Photo Blog: Critical Issue – Women’s Participation

March 5, 2014

Blog

While Asian women are increasingly visible in leadership positions, political participation rates of men and women continue to be vastly unequal. In many countries, women are routinely discouraged from entering public office.

 

Asia Foundation Trustee Melanne Verveer Writes on Afghan Women for Politico’s Women Rule

October 16, 2013

News

Asia Foundation Trustee and former U.S. Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer writes on Afghan women for Politico’s “Women Rule,” a special project by Politico, Google and the Tory Burch Foundation that explores how women are leading change in politics, policy and their communities. Highlighting the contributions of Afghanistan’s mos… Read more

 

Lotus Circle Advisor Missie Rennie Hosts Lyn Devon Trunk Show to Benefit The Asia Foundation’s Women’s Empowerment Program

October 11, 2013

Slideshow

On September 24, 2013, Asia Foundation Trustee and Lotus Circle Advisor Missie Rennie hosted a trunk show at fashion designer Lyn Devon’s Manhattan showroom to benefit The Asia Foundation’s Women’s Empowerment Program. The all-day event gathered guests including Asia Foundation Trustee and Lotus Circle Advisor Masako H. Shinn and Young Lotus Circle… Read more

 

USAID Afghanistan Features MORE Project Launch

September 10, 2013

Media Coverage

USAID Afghanistan features the launch of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs Organizational Restructuring and Empowerment Project (MORE), organized by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MoWA), The Asia Foundation and USAID. Read the full article: “MORE for Afghan Women’s Empowerment.”

 

Ms. Magazine: The Asia Foundation Supports Afghan Women’s Political Participation

September 6, 2013

Media Coverage

The September 6 digital edition of Ms. magazine features The Asia Foundation’s DFID-funded partnership with the Afghan Independent Election Commission (IEC) to support Afghan women’s political participation in the 2014-2015 elections. Read the full article here: Multi-Million Dollar Program Announced to Support Afghan Women’s Political Participatio… Read more

 

Asia Foundation and Independent Election Commission (IEC) Launch “Increasing Women’s Political Participation and Dialogue Opportunities in Afghanistan”

Kabul, Afghanistan, September 4, 2013

News

On August 28, 2013, The Asia Foundation, in partnership with the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and through financial support of the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), launched $6.8 million USD (£4.5 million GBP) project, “Increasing Women’s Political Participation and Dialogue Opportunities in Afghanistan,” as… Read more

 

Tolo News (Afghanistan) Features TAF’s Support for Female Participation in 2014 Elections

August 28, 2013

Media Coverage

Tolo News (Afghanistan) quotes Asia Foundation country representative in Afghanistan Mark Kryzer in a feature on The Asia Foundation and DFID grant to support Afghanistan Independent Election Commission (IEC)’s plan to increase women’s participation in the 2014 elections. Read the full article: “Six Million Dollars Donated to Help Female Participat… Read more

 

South Asia Women Parliamentarians Take Lead

July 11, 2012

Slideshow

In July 2012 the South Asia Women Parliamentarians Conference in Dhaka, Bangladesh, attracted 130 MPs from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and elsewhere. Women gathered with a goal of creating a strong network and promoting a more effective role for women leaders in national governance across South Asia. The Asia Foundat… Read more

 

Asia Foundation Receives $1.65 Million Grant to Strengthen Indonesian Women’s Involvement in Politics

Jakarta, November 10, 2010

News

On November 4, 2010, The Asia Foundation’s Indonesia Representative, Robin Bush, and Norwegian Ambassador to Indonesia, Eivind S. Homme, signed a cooperation agreement in Jakarta focused on increasing Indonesian women’s participation in democratic government. The Royal Norwegian Embassy pledged $1.65 million towards a program that will aid civil so… Read more

 

Celebrating Women of Asia

March 3, 2010

Slideshow

Millions of women in Asia are on the rise – taking advantage of expanding economic and educational opportunities, political participation, increasing rights and influence within their societies. At the same time, others remain trapped in a cycle of illiteracy, poverty, or ill health, often lacking the means to raise themselves and their families ou… Read more

 

Royal Norwegian Embassy Collaborates with The Asia Foundation to Advance Women’s Participation in Indonesia Politics

Jakarta, May 9, 2007

News

Currently, women in Indonesia are significantly under-represented in political participation at all levels and the number of women members of the national legislature is now lower than a decade ago during President Suharto’s New Order era. The Asia Foundation, a non-profit organization devoted to Asia’s development since 1954, announced today it ha… Read more